Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council

Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC)

FY 2005 Tasks


The Architecture and Infrastructure Committee will pursue seven funded tasks in FY 2005, in addition to existing efforts, such as the Security and Privacy Profile initiative, providing recommendations on revisions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130, fostering communities of practice on XML and semantic interoperability, among others.  These tasks will result in the greatest return on investment in terms of the time and dedication put forth by the committee members and support staff.


Task 1:  Evolution of the Federal Enterprise Architecture reference models.


Description/Justification - The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Reference Models are independent of architectural frameworks and provide a common language to express IT assets and investments.  As Cabinet-level agencies have gained experience expressing their IT investments and assets with the taxonomy and vocabulary provided in the initial instance of the FEA Reference Models, difficulties have arisen.  Some agencies have begun to examine whether the taxonomies and language expressed in the reference models should be extended to allow a more accurate representation of the broad set of Federal IT systems and investments. Subsequently, this has warranted the need for governance policies, processes and procedures designed to assist with the growth and evolution of the FEA Reference Models. A governance model would attempt to address the following types of questions: “What is the process and associated timeline for modifying the models?"  How and when do agencies make such recommendations?  Who has what role in evolving the reference models used in the development of the FEA? How can agencies best use the models for developing and maintaining agency enterprise architecture?”


The successful evolution of the Federal Enterprise Architecture is rooted in the common language expressed within the structural taxonomy that permits growth, adaptation, and maturity of the Federal Enterprise Architecture.   It is this common structure and vocabulary which sets the foundation for expanding the FEA to allow expression of the full set of agencies’ IT assets.  Current OMB guidance requires that all IT investments are expressed in terms of the FEA reference models.


This task will examine the structural taxonomy and vocabulary (elements) of the current instance of the FEA Reference Models and will make policy and process recommendations regarding reference model evolution.  It will leverage the work begun by NASA and other Cabinet-level agencies, such as DoD with experience in expressing their IT assets within the FEA Reference Models and extending those reference models for better alignment.


Lead Staff - Roy Mabry and John McManus


Task 2.  Update the Service Component-Based Architectures paper dated June 2004.


Description/Justification – The CIO Council in collaboration with the FEAPMO and the Industry Advisory Council published a paper on Service Component-Based Architectures in June 2004.  In an effort to keep current, this task involves updating the paper so that is aligns with the next release of the Service and Component Reference Model (SRM) and Technology Reference Model (TRM).  It is also suggested that the paper be updated to reflect the Component Lifecycle and the Solutions Development Lifecycle, along with a revised glossary as required.


Lead Staff – Ren Cahoon and Bobby Jones




Task 3.  Redesign portal for and examine integration with other registries and



Description/Justification is intended to serve as a government source for business process and technical components.  As such it requires a front-end that will integrate with other registries and repositories, including the Chief Architects Forum & Exchange (CAFÉ).  This task will focus on redesigning the front-end of so that it can accommodate multiple user views (e.g. project lead user vs. anonymous), including a view for a non-technical user.  This task will also examine how to integrate with other repositories, consolidating “best practices” in a single location.


Lead Staff – Ren Cahoon and Marion Royal




Task 4.  Develop a unifying framework for enterprise transformation and modernization.


Description/Justification – While Agencies may associate with the same instance of the FEA RM taxonomy, for example human resources, they have difficulty relating their architectures to each other due to the application of different architecture methods.  As GAO reported, agencies use TEAF, FEAF, DoDAF and Zachman methodologies.  A common methodology is needed to facilitate discussions about cross agency work, enabling IT and other enterprise issues such as resources and policy and process issues.   


This task will provide a common framework for cross-agency (super-enterprise) architecting that would apply to all Federal agencies and will complement the Common Process View previously developed by the FEAPMO and will leverage existing architecture methods. The framework will focus on decision-making throughout the enterprise life cycle, explicitly showing linkages to the FEA Reference Models.  It will build on the existing frameworks to become a higher-level abstraction to which all others can relate.


The original task description is being amended to incorporate subsequent strategizing on the part of the Governance Subcommittee. It was agreed that due to the limited funding, the establishment of a common framework for cross agency (super-enterprise) architecting would have to be accomplished in an incremental fashion.  Numerous strategies have been explored to create an effective product that would benefit from a wide "Community of Practice" involvement.  It was decided that the first set of funding would be used to create a clear business case for the effort to ensure that the problem is well defined and that the intended benefits are well-established to justify why such a project was necessary.  It has also been suggested that the development of such a product will need to follow the emerging semantic technologies concepts, especially Semantic Interoperability, and eventually require the engineering of at least an upper level ontology to create the foundation for conceptual agreement.  This approach will sell the problem (and come up with a good set of requirements/benefits) before we sell the solution.  .


Lead Staff - Roy Mabry and Patrick Heinig


Task 5.  Support the vertical integration of EA.


Description/Justification – The problems of vertical stovepipes and the lack of interoperability will continue to pervade as long as local, state and regional governments continue to work independently with individual federal agencies along their long-established business lines.  The vision of "interoperability" is difficult to achieve at present due to the sheer volume of uncoordinated IT development occurring at any one time.  State CIOs, as represented by NASCIO, have expressed a desire to have a fundamental conceptual discussion about how federal and state governments should proceed with implementing their respective enterprise architectures.


In the spirit of developing a national enterprise architecture, this task seeks to clearly define the perceived problem and identify key strategies for cooperation between CIOs at different levels of government.  The

funding will be used to research both the problem and solution.  The methodology includes -  1) analysis of existing articles and research on the problem and solutions; 2) interviews with key parties; 3) a facilitated meeting of key federal agencies whose missions rely strongly on state and local partnership;   4) high-level analysis of lessons learned from the 25 Presidential Priority E-Gov initiatives, the Lines of Business Initiative, and a review of relevant government-wide policy, legislation, and executive orders; and  5) face-to-face meetings of key intergovernmental players to discuss the problem and key strategies to solve it.


This AIC task will be done in full partnership with the GSA Office of Citizen Services and work within their existing IT intergovernmental partnership program to ensure the involvement of the right state/locals associations, including NASCIO.


Lead Staff - Governance Subcommittee Task: Roy Mabry Co- Chair; Task lead: Mary McCaffery


Task 6.  Develop identification and validation processes for emerging technologies.


Description/Justification - The Emerging Technology Subcommittee of the CIO Council’s Architecture and Infrastructure Committee is charged with examining crosscutting emerging technology components and developing recommendations for their use in the Government.   This task will focus on defining a process that will allow the IT innovation lifecycle to be managed on a Government-wide basis that accelerates the discovery, validation, and maturation of components that improve performance and the delivery of services to citizens.


A relationship between the overall proposed process and is envisioned, along with the ability to accept submissions from the vendor/integrator community.  While will focus on submissions from the Government community, there is value in having a process through which a  component would “graduate” to once a sufficient level of subscription and commitment to the component exists within the Government community.


Lead Staff –John McManus, Susan Turnbull, and Owen Ambur


Task 7.  Support the Chief Architects Forum


Description/Justification – Given the recent creation of the Chief Architects Forum (CAF), it is important that adequate infrastructure and support be provided to ensure the value of these groups.  The CAF fosters agency collaboration on addressing EA challenges and applying best practices.  The dissemination of best practice information, along with effective communication, coordination, and outreach is critical.  Support for the series of activities below will aid in this endeavor. 


  • Developing and planning a Leadership Summit series focused on Enterprise Architecture which will involve leading academic experts in EA and eBusiness (e.g., government officials, private sector CXOs, IAC, state CIOs, etc)
  • Researching and drafting of EA best practices white papers
  • Holding a launching event focused on the white paper(s) results.
  • Designing an “Excellence in Enterprise Architecture” award program and developing an event for the distribution of awards
  • Preparing for roundtable interview(s) with a government IT publication (e.g., Government Executive, Government Computer News, Federal Computer Week)
  • Coordinating CAF activities with Architecture Plus
  • Maintaining a current list of Forum members, monitoring listserv error reports and taking corrective action by adding and removing members from the list


Lead Staff – Roy Mabry, Mary McCaffery, and Ira Grossman